I'm M.C.A. Hogarth, author and artist. I write fiction (science fiction, fantasy, romance, etc), nonfiction (mostly about business and parenthood) and draw pictures, mostly of dragons, elves and people in beautiful clothes. I am also currently (as of July 2015) serving as the Vice President of SFWA. Below you can see some of what I'm doing currently, and check up on my status.

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     The Nebula Awards Weekend 2016
     Worldcon 2016

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Serial, Kherishdar's Exception, Episode 13: Ruben

Kherishdar"s Exception, by M.C.A. Hogarth

Episode 13: Ruben

      Confused looks. One of them unhooked a device from his shoulder harness and glanced at it intently, then said something interrogative while staring at my face. I repeated myself, and he looked at the device again, then said something to his companion.
      Then, laboriously, reading off the device, he pointed at his companion, who was talking quietly… to himself? “It… handle… beast.”
      “Thank you,” I said, and wanted very suddenly, very desperately, to see what he was looking at. Instead of insisting, I handed the reins to this second Guardian, and spoke more out of whimsy than any intention to communicate. “Be careful with it, it’s carrying all my belongings.”
      But the first Guardian said, “Safe. With us.”
      Startled, I said, “Very well. I’ll go inside, then.”
      Neither of them stopped me, or even seemed surprised. Did aunerai Guardians have their own version of Guardian-face? As I passed between them toward the double doors, I spotted another aunerai jogging up to them and paused long enough to watch this third aunerai take the reins of my jevi and lead it away. Summoned? By the second aunerai?
      I entered into a hall, carpeted and painted and ornate and none of it drew my eye because what mattered was how oddly empty it was. The desk I would have expected to serve as a station for someone stood untenanted. No people crossed its broad length, nor used its stairs. I had never been to the Bleak, but I heard that it too had an antechamber like this, devoid of people. Was this intentional on the aunera’s part, then, to emphasize the singularity of those entering?
      Except that the male aunerai who joined me did so at a jog, giving me the impression that he hadn’t wanted me to stand alone so.
      I didn’t know this male. He was shorter than Andrew Clark, the previous administrator of the aunerai presence, and immediately I knew him to be harder as well. His body moved like a Guardian’s, or an athlete’s, with a self-confidence and power I found fascinating. Had they handed me to a new Guardian then? Why?
      He was a prettier color, too. You have a paucity of colorations… no grays or reds or interesting variegations and patterns. But I liked the smooth clear beige of his skin, and the odd greenish tan eyes.
      Like the other Guardians, he had a device in his hand. Unlike theirs, this one was almost as long as his forearm. Stopping before me, he began to speak, stopped in frustration. His was not a face that seemed accustomed to uncertainty, and I watched him, curious as to what his reaction to that uncertainty would be. His mouth creasing at the corner… that was a smile, I thought. Not a full one. I thought his tone was resigned, but like most of my interactions with aunera, I found it exaggerated, as if you are forced to funnel all the emotional nuances you wish to convey into your speech solely with tone, rather than through a combination of tone, word choice, and body language. The lack of mobile ears in particular… what a handicap!
      He handed me the device, startling me. I accepted it, glanced at it and found a blank screen.
      It filled when he began speaking.
      “…pardon me, duinikedi. I cannot speak your language yet. Forgive the device. How may I help you?”
      Watching the words form after he used them was magical. I fought to keep my ears from flattening to my head. When I looked up, the male was studying me with what I thought might be worry. He spoke, and again the words appeared. All of them were translated without caste markers, like something from an ancient historical text, leaving them bald and direct.
      “Have I offended?”
      And as suddenly as that, I found myself chuckling. Somehow the lack of ornament suited this particular man. He didn’t have Andrew Clark’s polish, but I liked his disciplined posture and blunt mannerisms. “No,” I said. “I was just startled. I have a letter…” I pulled it from my sash’s inner pocket and handed it to him.
      After reading what was on the device, he unfolded Lenore’s missive. A few moments later, he handed it back. “I am Ruben Falzon,” he reported. “And I can show you to her office.”
      “Thank you,” I said, watching the translation appear. How did this device work? I’d seen the exposed laboratories at Qenain and knew the machines in them were equally opaque in their workings. Somehow this thing must be capable of hearing, of discerning words, and of finding similar words in the opposite language. Then constructing them with rules of grammar that were… somewhat… correct, and displaying them. Who had created this device? How long had they been studying Ai-Naidari to be capable of teaching it to this machine?
      It had to be Lenore. Had she also been a fabricator, to be capable of creating devices? I turned it in my hands, finding it uncanny. As thin as paper, flexible, with the colors and words lying atop it like a film. It felt disposable.
      I followed the aunerai, who was now, it seemed, the administrator of the human colony. A man of a very different character than Andrew Clark, who had struck me as an appropriate leader. It was hard to judge aunerai castes by sight, for if you dressed to indicate your status I had yet to see a pattern. But I continued to read Falzon as a Guardian from his bodyspeech, and of course, Guardians do not lead anything or anyone, save other Guardians.
      It interested me that I was so determined to pin him to a caste, and that my struggle had conveniently placed him in one I might consider beneath me. I wanted very badly to create a context that made sense of our interactions in a way that hadn’t mattered to me during the crisis with ij Qenain. Among us we speak of ethek, situations where the rules of society no longer apply; emergencies often create such situations, and during them we overlook the courtesies that otherwise order our society. My previous interactions with aunera—direct ones, not those mediated by my lord—had taken place during one of those crises. And now that I was attempting to engage them in a normal way, I discovered… there was no normal way.
      How did aunera do it, I wondered? I would have to ask, when I knew how.
      Falzon said something, coming to a halt beside a door. I glanced at my borrowed device. He’d said, “This is it.”


I am quiet! I am not online much right now. Many apologies. But thank you all, for donations and comments.


Serial, Kherishdar's Exception, Episode 12: An Ai-Naidari Universe

Kherishdar"s Exception, by M.C.A. Hogarth

Episode 12: An Ai-Naidari Universe

      The following morning, leading the jevi out of the stable…that was when I felt the Gate wind for the first time on this particular journey, cooling the fur on my face and ruffling the edges of my robes. I glanced toward the Gate, squinting into the sun. It was easily visible, of course; one could see it from the capital on a clear day. I think Farren must have told you its size? That each of its pylons was the length of several city blocks? And that it rises so high sometimes clouds obscure its arch?
      The Gates are an inextricable part of our society. Hearing my mother repeat ‘The Gates saved Civilization’ is one of my few clear memories of childhood. Dressing me for a day spent sitting with her at the receiving office where she conducted business: “Remember, Daughter, the Gates saved Civilization.” Every day, day after day, like a prayer. The Gates saved Civilization. Daughter, they still do.
      She would have cleaved to such a sentiment. Among us we say ‘everywhere is local,’ an idea we express in a single word: toverash. The idea being that no Ai-Naidari should be unable to obtain the goods and services available elsewhere, or speak a different language, or find themselves disoriented no matter where they travel. Many segments of our society are dedicated to enforcing toverash, from the linguists who carry language changes and accents across the empire to the Public Servants who ensure we have consistent naming and building practices. There are also Merchants specifically employed to find what is particular to different locations and enable their sale elsewhere, and my parents had been among these toverashi Merchants.
      I hadn’t thought of them in years. My evaluation had removed me from their care as a child, and I had not been sad to leave their world of things. I had been poorly suited to the meticulous record-keeping required by their work, and had been uninterested in their finds: what did I care if the pottery in some Second World city was especially lovely because of some local clay that gave it unusual properties? Such details felt trivial to me. All I noticed, or cared about, was the look in someone’s eyes when they looked at you. The way they moved. How that changed when they were aggrieved, or joyous. I could understand my mother’s insistence that the Gates had saved Civilization by giving us a unified culture while finding the particulars banal.
      And then, of course, the Gates had brought us you. Somehow I doubt you were what we had in mind when we spoke of that salvation.
      By the afternoon I’d reached the Gate and given my pass over to the Guardians. All was in order, and they waved me through, and for the first time I passed between worlds as an osulkedi, permitted and expected, rather than as a Decoration bending the rules to see to her lord, who had broken them. Just the air of the colony world brought an unwelcome rush of emotions, prickling the skin beneath my pelt. The heavier world-weight, the color of the sunlight, the alien smells in the air… this was where I’d become unmoored. Where ij Qenain had found his aunera, the ones so important to him he could abandon Kherishdar to love them. I wanted to hate all of you for it, but this was also the world where I’d seen Ajan saved from the inexorability of his death by your handiwork. Where Farren had first held me. Where I’d found myself comforting Lenore because, much as I hated to admit it, we had both loved the same man to the tragic end of those affairs: me, to his loss, and hers, to the loss of everything else.
      But I had survived. Farren had named me Courage. I could do anything.
      I could have sought lodgings. I supposed someone else might have. I wanted to confront my work immediately, so instead I rode boldly into the aunerai half of town.
      Even now, it still strikes me as strange that you should look so much like us. I doubt it ever occurred to the average Ai-Naidari that there might be intelligent species populating the universe, because obviously the universe exists that we might put our stamp on it. We are the pinnacle of civilization, evolving always toward perfection—how not? So to discover that other intelligences might exist, and that they might look like a shorter, furless version of us? It is bizarre. You should have been more beastlike, maybe. Or had more limbs, or two heads. Something. Instead, you look like oddly incomplete versions of us, like a child’s crude clay sculpture. Some people say that of course you do, because you, too, are evolving toward perfection. You are just further back in the process. Me, I think it unlikely, some kind of cosmic prank. You are enough like us to love, aunera, and unlike enough to never be enough.
      I’m told you think this about us, by the way. That it stretches credulity that we should resemble you so closely, because you existed first and so assume that everything else is a copy of you. Do you find this as humorous as I do? Because I do. And I wonder which of us is right.
      As before, the aunera I passed reacted to me each in their own particular fashion. Some stared. Some glanced and kept moving. Some didn’t pay any note at all. No one stopped me as I rode down the central road to the large building at its end. (You call this the ‘town hall,’ I learned later. But also ‘the administration building’. And ‘admin’, and ‘the front office’, and so many other terms that it took me a while to realize they all referred to the same space.) This time, however, I didn’t enter through some side door. Dismounting before its façade, I led my beast to the two aunera standing alongside the door and spoke the most relevant words.
      “Don’t you have a hitching post?”


It is fun looking at us from inside a totally different head. And no matter how much like us Haraa is, she's still not one of us. :,

Patreon patrons, random donating people, and commenters, you are my star! I love your discussions in the comments. So wonderful. <3


Thinking Out Loud: One Last Kickstarter

I'd really like print editions for both of the romance novels, something I'd have to shell out about $500 for. Throwing in taxes and fees, I could probably get away with running a Kickstarter for about $750ish to get it done. The e-books are selling molasses-slow on all retailers, so I wouldn't be cannibalizing my sales by giving away the e-books as prizes... it might even function nicely as advertising.

So I am thinking... can I sneak this in before the holiday season starts in late November? *ponders*

I might edit this later as I think about it.

As promised:

I am thinking maybe a two week campaign (instead of my usual 7-10 day campaigns) should be enough? Prizes should be pretty easy. I am thinking:

$1 - name in the back of the print edition
$5 - one e-book (your choice of which)
$8 - both e-books
$15 - both e-books and the special stuff I wrote about developing the setting (some of you have seen this). Maybe I'll do a second one for Cantor about the sea serpents.

Then at some level, the print books. And then signed print books. Maybe a downloadable coloring sheet? I have one piece of original art (the cover of Book 2) I can give away.

I don't want to go overboard with stretch goals, either. I think the only one I might plan for is "Christmas bonuses for all my contractors." I do that anyway, but it would be nice to have a little extra to send to them.

I still feel like... I wish I could do something fancy that relates to the setting, but I'm blanking on what. Rosary's weird special thing, for instance, was an essential oil mix that smelled like the angel wings (they were described as citrus-y in the book). But this is a story about musicians (and divers) and I am neither musician nor diver. I guess I have some sea shells around from my last trip to the beach?

Dunno! Thoughts?
  • Current Mood: hrm

Serial, Kherishdar's Exception, Episode 11: Not His Daughter

Kherishdar&quot;s Exception, by M.C.A. Hogarth

Episode 11: Not His Daughter

      I looked up at the perfect blue plate of the sky, so far overhead. The spires of Kherishdar’s temple district touched it, gold flashes of fire in the sun. The breeze skirled past, bringing with it the perfume of incense, and it tugged me into motion, down the thoroughfares toward the gate. I had last entered the capital on the back of a beast, nude and leaning against the Calligrapher’s back to stay astride. How different I must look today leaving it, silver robes fanned over the saddle, confidently astride, alone. I looked what I was, the osulkedi Haraa, on Thirukedi’s errand. And… this part felt good. I liked riding. Both Kor and Ajan had said I would, and they were right. Being carried by a beast is unpleasant. Controlling one….
      Farren doesn’t like riding, so he never bothered to tell you our name for the beasts: jev, and if you decline it, it refers to the animal, and if you conjugate it, it refers to the act of traveling by beastback. But the more pertinent word, aunera, is sumil. Freedom.
      It took me half a day to navigate the morning traffic to the external city gate. Since most of the capital’s travelers were pedestrians, there were strict laws governing the speed of beasts and where you could ride. Once I gained the Ashumel, though, the highway leading to the world-gate, I was free to use the courier lane, a separate road parallel to the highway reserved to those traveling at speed.
      I know now that few aunera ride animals save for pleasure, so perhaps you don’t know that riding is physical exertion. For someone of Farren’s sedentary habits, just being in the saddle is enough exercise. But I was fathrikedi, and you have learned that we are trained to an athleticism that would find riding at a sedate walk less than nothing. Riding a racing jevi—that is joy. The burn of muscle tension along the thighs, into the abdomen. The pleasure of holding yourself in perfect balance above the moving neck. There you find that moment of mindlessness where all your powers are engaged, physical and mental. I loved it, and the moment it was safe to do so I jammed my heels into my mount’s sides and we lunged for the horizon. The wind pulling my hair back and beading water from my eyes... yes. This was needful. Even if I could not outrun my racing thoughts. They kept me company, neck and neck with my steed, and one by one they peeled off, were left behind, until only one remained, and that one stayed. Stayed effortlessly. Stayed and left me unable to look away from it.
      Some number of you will have seen it already. That I was in love with Farren. I knew it was ridiculous. For a fathrikedi to love a single person was already in poor taste, and I had tripped headlong into that vulgarity with my former master, the lord of Qenain. To stumble from that gaffe, stunned by my own broken heart, into an entirely new and equally hopeless love with a man who considered me a daughter?
      It was farcical. I would have hated myself for it except that loving him felt good, even when it hurt to know he didn’t reciprocate my passion. And I thought… maybe… if he lived with me long enough to realize I wasn’t his daughter…
      I bared my teeth and urged the jevi on. You say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ aunera. We say ‘absence draws one’s needs into relief.’ Maybe my being away would make it clear to Farren that he needed to live again, to stop languishing in the arms of his departed wife. Or maybe he would realize how little he missed me.
      He would have loved the way the sunlight seemed poured on the road in bright creamy shafts. He would have told me to pay attention to how the shadows looked like lilac gossamer now, and how as the hours passed they would contract into deep purple pools beneath my beast’s galloping feet. He would have made me notice those things, and I would have found it absurd that beauty could exist outside Ai-Naidari bodies. People are beautiful. It would take an artist to see that the world was too.
      I rode, alternating between a jog and a run, all day. Twice couriers passed me, heading to the capital, the wind of their passing ruffling the strands of hair that had fallen from my chignon. Alongside, the travelers on the Ashumel proper were blurs I was free to ignore. I made far better time than the sorrowful cavalcade had when Farren had led us back home, and that put me, thankfully, at an entirely different inn than the one we’d used on that journey. No memories to trail my body like fog as I passed through the common room; none to fret me when I stretched out on the bed to sleep.
      I looked one more time at Lenore’s letter, not to re-read it, but to study the translation. She’d pulled the Ai-Naidari words apart as we might have to teach the finer points of grammar to children, and labeled those pieces with what I guessed to be aunerai equivalents. I stared at the explosion of the phrase ‘I wish I could be,’ petting the single letter that seemed to mean ‘I’. The elemental loneliness of it struck me as ominous and strange. One letter to isolate every person inside her own head, absent of context. I thought I must be misinterpreting it.
      Little did I know.
      It had been a long day. I slept without dreams.


I'm sure some of you saw this coming after Black Blossom.

As always, thank you Patreon patrons, random donating people, and commenters!


Unnatural Habitat

Seventy needles pricking my back, fifteen minutes of waiting and ignoring my skin burning off, and I now have the results: I am allergic to 52 of those 70 allergens, including a broad range of creatures, molds, grasses, trees, weeds, and particulates common to every season of the year.

I don't belong here.

My daughter doesn't either: they don't do as many pricks on children, but she was allergic to almost thirty of the items they tested on her. Including (as with me), the dander and fur of every known animal kept as a pet.

We have discussed this, Daughter and I. And rather than take drugs and nose sprays with exhausting side effects and tedious schedules, we've elected—together—to try the allergy shots. She'll get two vials at every visit, once a week for nearly a year; I'll need three. This regimen doesn't work for everyone, but it did solve my mother's asthma problems for over two decades, so I'm hoping this bodes well for us.

We'll have to pay for each of those vials, every time we go. And the office visit as well. I am trying not to resent this. It wasn't my choice to live here, and duty impels me to remain. But I calculate the cost and it is hard not to have a moment of absolute, dizzying fury, where the world recedes and all I feel is the injustice of it, and the tearing rage that something's hurting my child.

Daughter, who hates shots, is so fed up with feeling miserable that she has willingly entered into this. To palliate both our pains, I've told her once we're done we can finally have a dog. (Some of you might remember we tried to get a puppy a while back and had to give it back when it made managing our allergies too difficult.) We looked up the greyhound adoption rates. I told her she should help me save money for it. She is decorating a box now: it says "Pointy Dog Money" on it.

We're starting in late November, when the first vials come in. I am mindful that these shots, administered in error, could kill us. I am at the point where that no longer deters me. Like Daughter, I too am sick of being sick.

I hate this place.

But I'm going to survive it.

Serial, Kherishdar's Exception, Episode 10: Things I Can Keep

Kherishdar&quot;s Exception, by M.C.A. Hogarth

Episode 10: Things I Can Keep

      The following morning I was spared—I think that’s the only appropriate word—the discomfort of a second not-quite-argument, for I found the first floor silent after my descent from my room. Not that I was the only one awake. The doors to the garden were open, and through them I saw Shame’s Guardians flowing through their exercises, their movements synchronized and effortless. One of the privileges of living in Qevellen, I thought: to be exposed to the disciplined beauty of the Guardian caste’s devotions, so like and yet unlike the ones I’d learned as fathrikedi. I let myself linger a few moments to observe, then passed into the kitchens to break my fast. For once the irimkedi didn’t tax me with one of her scowls, being too busy with preparations for the day’s cooking. I still ate according to the dietary customs of my former caste, which made for very light and very carefully selected meals. It offended her sensibilities, that I picked through her offerings and left most of them untouched.
      Poor woman. Between Kor, rarely present; Farren, rarely in this world; and me, rarely eating enough, she must feel herself sorely afflicted. I sympathized, but not enough to change the habits of a near-lifetime. I liked my body the way it was sculpted far too much to re-shape it with an osulkedi’s diet.
      I was trying not to examine my own ambivalence about escaping the House unnoticed when I exited the kitchen and found Ajan leaning against the wall, arms folded, his pelt still sweat-sheened from exercise and his tail flopped over his boots.
      “You’ll get the tuft dirty,” I said.
      “I’m trying to get it dirty,” Ajan said. “You do that when your lover is good with a sponge.” He grinned and stretched. “Shall we whisk you away before the ajzelin rise? Kor will keep him a while, but the morning sun will draw him down from the bedroom soon enough.”
      “I know,” I said, because Farren loved the morning sun best for painting. “Yes, let’s go.”
      When I’d first come to Qevellen, Kor had drawn me aside. I still remember the slant of the afternoon sunlight on my shoulders and the laze of Ajan’s body sprawled on a divan, and the way I’d smelled incense and flowers on the breeze that had floated in through the open window. “You’re osulkedi, and your work involves the aunera,” he’d said. “You will need to learn to ride. We’ll teach you.”
      And they had. Sometimes together, but usually apart, and Ajan more often than Kor. Between the two of them, though, they imparted the knowledge and those sessions… those had made my transition to osulkedi real to me in a way Thirukedi’s declaration of my caste change, and even my new clothes, had not. It had had nothing to do with what they’d been teaching me and everything to do with the camaraderie to which they’d admitted me. I was one of their number; of course, they must share the skills they’d acquired. The gift of in-caste knowledge, so freely given, lawfully.
      We enshrine duty, aunera, but that doesn’t mean we always love it. But at our best, its fruits spill from us, and that magnanimity of spirit is to a soul the way a fire is to cold hands in winter.
      The Exception had made fun of my boots, thinking my only attachment to them involved flight, but they’d been a gift from Ajan when he’d decided my lack of proper footwear was impeding my progress. He’d escorted me to the shoemaker to have my feet measured, talked me through the advantages and disadvantages of different styles, teased me about having them dyed orange to match my eyes. That objects might become the repository of memories I could keep was a new concept. Fathriked did not own things.
      “Are you sending anything ahead?” Ajan asked as we approached the communal stable.
      “No. I don’t really need much.” I rested a hand on the pack slung at my side. The changes of clothing in it constituted almost my entire wardrobe. “And I won’t know until I get there what learning the aunerai language will require by way of supplies.”
      “Maybe you’ll need a trunk Farren’s size by the time you’re done,” he said with a grin.
      “I hope not,” I said. “I like traveling light.” We passed under the broad stone arch and into the dim lavender shade of the stable.
      Most Ai-Naidar walk. Those of us who must travel significant distances or pull loads too heavy for our own backs borrow beasts from the stables maintained for the district. We tend not to develop the strong attachments to beasts that you do, aunera, from the stories I’ve heard. But even among us, we might have preferences. One of mine was available, a pale gray male with a white mane, and while Ajan led him out of the stall I disclosed the details of my journey to the Regal’s beast servant. It made me realize that Kor and Ajan’s suggestion that I decide the length of my stay hadn’t solely been intended to assuage Farren’s concerns.
      It must have been on my face when I exited the office, because Ajan had a look at me and laughed. “What?”
      “Your lover,” I said, accepting his cupped hands and the boost up into the saddle. “Always teaching, even when it’s not obvious.”
      “Ah, well. He’s generous that way.” Ajan took one of my heels and adjusted it in the stirrup. “Little more grip, if you’re going to run all the way there. And you’re going to run all the way there, aren’t you?”
      I laughed. “Why walk when running’s more fun?”
      “You won’t find me disagreeing,” he said, walking around the front of the beast to check my other foot. We both knew I didn’t need it, but I liked it for the memories it invoked. It was… pleasant… to indulge him. In a way it wasn’t, with Farren. Maybe because I knew Ajan wasn’t worried about me. We were going through the motions for fun, and out of affection. “There, you’re good. Oh, don’t wear the bag all the way there, here, hand that down.” Taking it, he attached it to the back of the saddle with the loops I hadn’t noticed. “There. Now you’re good.” He smiled up at me. “I’ll tell Kor and Farren you said goodbye.”
      “I’ll be home soon,” I said.
      “Come back when you’re ready. We’ll be here.” He slapped the beast on the shoulder and stepped back as it started forward. “Go well, Haraa.”
      “Thank you,” I said, wanting to call him something. Friend? Fellow osulkedi? Brother? But I was out on the street before I could decide and the moment was lost.


We begin the text of Chapter 2 with a journey! And at its end... is us... wonder what that'll be like. O_O

As always, thank you Patreon patrons, random donating people, and commenters!


Meanwhile, Fun Stuff

I got interviewed for File 770 by Carl Slaughter! You can read that today over there. This is the second time I've been called a furry author, which is funny because most furries don't perceive my writing as furry. I should do an article explaining furry as a subgenre. It has its own rules and reader expectations! Seriously!

Cat Rambo has a really nice post about being kind to yourself that ends with an awesome looking recipe for muffins. Which I would be trying if I wasn't avoiding lots of stomach-upset triggers. So you should totally try them and tell me about it.

The Kickstarter is done! I wanted to wrap it up within a month, but two and a half months isn't too, too bad. I'm pleased! And contemplating doing it again because it was fun! Yes, I know, stop me. -_-

Finally, a friend sent me this gorgeous animation. So pretty. Go watch!

  • Current Mood: working working

The Jaguar's True Political Affiliation

This year has been a disappointing one, income-wise. I knew going in that losing the first three months of the year would have an impact on my bottom line, but I did my best to chase myself back into a regular schedule and somehow managed my four books a year, plus a coloring book, plus the Kickstarter. So, not too shabby. And yet, I wanted to make more this year than I did last year, and I'm going to just miss that mark unless the holiday season is epic.

I've heard I'm not the only one having a bad year, so that's... comforting. Sort of. Less comforting, though, is the realization that if my gross income was my actual take-home, I'd be over the moon. That would be great money for arn artist/writer. I'd only be a little shy of being able to support my entire family on that salary, even if I had to tighten our belts.

But after taxes ravage my gross, what's left wouldn't feed a dog.

I'm still waiting for the politician who's going to stop punishing me for running my own business.

*checks watch*

Still waiting...

*grows decrepit and dies*

*whispers from the grave* waiting...
  • Current Mood: resigned

Serial, Kherishdar's Exception, Episode 9: Your Arms Around Me

Kherishdar&quot;s Exception, by M.C.A. Hogarth

Episode 9: Your Arms Around Me

     When you lifted me from
     the wreckage of my life

     When you rescued me
     and I felt your arms around me
     your arms -
           oh, your body!

     I was broken
     and then no more

     You saved me, and set me on fire

                         Theme Poem #12
                         —Ereseya, The Hagiography

ama [ ah mah ], (verb) - to long or yearn


We begin Chapter 2! Thank you Patreon patrons! Thank you donating peoples! Thank you squee-ers! *hugs everyone*